Sunshine Weekly Weeder Newsletter
10 July 2013
We often have new gardeners who are beginner gardeners. We're looking for seasoned gardeners who wish to share their expertise and gardening wisdom with the newbies or with people on the wait list. Mentoring can take as little or as much time as you want. Mentoring might involve showing them your plot and talking about how you do things to having them help you maintain your plot. If you're interested in being a mentor, please contact Kay McMurry at email@example.com.
Seminar: Setting Up and Using Drip Irrigation
by Travis County Master Gardeners
Saturday, July 13, 2013, 10am-12pm at Zilker Botanical Garden.
Did you know that drip irrigation is one of the most effective and efficient ways to water your garden and landscape beds, trees, vines and bushes? Drip irrigation is exempt from Austin's stage one, two and three water restriction schedules, due to its increased efficiency. The City of Austin has been under Stage Two Water Restrictions since September 2012, so take advantage of drip irrigation to help your landscape survive Central Texas' current and forecast drought conditions. This class will show you how to plan a system, where to buy supplies, and how to maintain your drip irrigation system to get the most out of it. Find out how a traditional water sprinkler system can be converted into a drip irrigation system to reduce consumption - and lower your water bill.
Meet the Gardeners
This is an occasional series done when the editor of this newsletter has time to interview some of the gardeners at Sunshine. The gardener in this piece is Cheryl Hazeltine.
Most gardeners at Sunshine Gardens know Cheryl as the zone coordinator of zone 9. Her plot is near the chicken coop. In addition she's also the author of "Cheryl Hazeltine's Central Texas Gardener", published in 2010. It is a practical guide to gardening in Central Texas.
She started gardening when she was seven years old with her neighbors in New Jersey. The neighbors made the garden a magical place. When interviewed, she recalled, "they planted by the full moon and I helped them. They had imaginary wild animals in the garden that captured my imagination. I can remember the smell of the tomato plants but never remember eating any of the vegetables. After working in the garden we would sit on the back steps and I would be given a coke."
When asked what she considered her greatest gardening success was, she said understanding the process of gardening, how to amend the soil, and the relationship between the plants and the soil. She mentioned that she bought plants impulsively, and said, "I'm a sucker for new plants. A friend and I used to go to a place on 71 that sold butterfly plants. On several occasions we bought what looked like sticks with the promise that they would turn into wonderful butterfly attracting plants. I think gardeners live on dreams, dreams of how their garden could look or produce, and will look and produce. I always forget the bad things. Gardeners are the most optimistic people in the world. The hook for all of us is anticipation."
She observed that her garden had benefited the most from compost. She used compost she made at home and bought compost. Her favorite is Geo-Growers compost (www.geogrowers.net).
When asked what aggravated her the most in the garden, she replied hoses, hoses getting tangled, tripping on hoses and dragging hoses around. She added that she found thinning the hardest thing to do. Pulling immature plants out of the ground just felt wrong. Mocking birds qualified as her most disliked pest because they take just one peck out of a tomato and move on to the next one. A close second are the swarms of grey aphids that sometimes occur in the garden.
Cheryl's recipe for getting rid of fire ants is a Howard Garret mixture composed of:
- 1 Gal water
- 1TBS blackstrap molasses
- 6TBS orange oil
- A dash of dishwashing detergent.
Shake to mix and apply liberally.
She has also seen Aspertane (a sugar substitute) recommended as a fire ant deterrent on Howard Garret's blog but hasn't tried it yet.
Officer and Zone Coordinator Contacts - Sunshine Garden
- President - Ila Falvey firstname.lastname@example.org
- Vice-President - Janet Adams email@example.com
- Secretary - Berk Bettis firstname.lastname@example.org
- Treasurer - Jack Reynolds email@example.com
- Director - Michael Hall firstname.lastname@example.org
- Director - Kay McMurry email@example.com
- Director - Emily Tisinger firstname.lastname@example.org
- Zone 1, Jody Trendler email@example.com
- Zone 2, Katy Davis firstname.lastname@example.org
- Zone 3, Ludmila Voskov email@example.com
- Zone 4, Ila Falvey firstname.lastname@example.org
- Zone 5, Mary Gifford email@example.com
- Zone 6, Charlotte Jernigan firstname.lastname@example.org
- Zone 7, TBA
- Zone 8, Irina Kaducova email@example.com
- Zone 9, Cheryl Hazeltine firstname.lastname@example.org
- Zone 10, Emily Tisinger email@example.com
- Plant Sale - Michael Hall firstname.lastname@example.org
- TSBVI Liason & Volunteer Coordinator - Janet Adams jartdaht@gmailcom
- Plot Rental - Kay McMurry email@example.com
- Carpentry & Repairs - Robert Jarry firstname.lastname@example.org
- Water Leak Repairs - Stewart Nichols email@example.com
- Tools & Wheelbarrows - Bob Easter firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website Coordinator - Sharon Rempert email@example.com
Record Service Hours Online - the Virtual Green Binder